Went from this,

to this

over a period of 3 years by getting off my backside, losing around 5 stone in weight and giving up smoking.

264 Responses to About

  1. James Knight says:

    great to follow your progress. I am 36 and I have been running for one and half years.VLM 3.03, 10miles 61mins, 10k 36.30mins and feel i am improving.I have a schedual to work through thats ok approx 35 to 60 mpw, should i run bath half and or reading half?They are both in march when i should be doing 20 milers on the weekend? Any thoughts would be great thanks JK

    • Steve says:

      I’m a bit biased as my PB is from Bath but I do think it’s a faster course than Reading. Both are far enough out from London (assuming that’s what you are targeting) that you could race them flat out and not impact your marathon but it all depends on what you want.
      If you have clocked up enough 20 milers in the campaign and dropping one won’t be a problem then go for it, I like to try and race one half flat out in the build up to try and get a judge for where I am. The other option is to treat the half as a training run and run it at marathon pace with some easy miles either side to make up a 20 miler. What I personally wouldn’t do is race the half flat out and also try and make it up to 20 with miles either side, those extra miles will just become a recovery jog.

      You could always race one flat out and use the other as a marathon pace training run, although finding a 20 mile race like Bramley (which is on the same day as Reading I believe) might be a better option for the training run.

      • davinia says:

        Hola me llamo davinia tengo 26 años soy de Cádiz.España trabajo para las fuerzas armadas y me gustaría poder contactar contigo y proponerte un reto. Por favor escríbeme.
        Un saludo y enhorabuena

      • Peter Benjamin says:

        Hi Steve,
        Congratulations on your run.You are an inspiration ! I had a total hip replacement 7 months ago and recently got the green light to gently begin running again after nearly 4 painful years.It’s runners like you that kept my dream alive of running again.Love your ridgeback,we lost ours 2 weeks ago at nearly 13 so take good care.
        Wish you all the best.

  2. James Knight says:

    Thanks for this, I think I may see you at Bath then. Just one more thing would you train just the same with no rest/no mini taper etc before Bath?

  3. Steve says:

    If I’m using it as my one flat out race in the marathon build and using it as a judge of where I am then I will do a “mini taper” starting from the Wednesday so that I’ve got a chance of a good performance. I’m still not certain if Bath will be in my plans this year now as it depends how much fitness has returned – I might be better off doing a 20 miler instead seeing as I’m playing catchup!
    Good luck with whatever you go for :-)

  4. James Knight says:

    Hi Steve, great to see you back on track. I see you down for Bramley on the 20th which is great. Will you cut down your long run this weekend or cut down on the tempo? You mentioned before about a mini taper but just thought you may go easy at the weekend. Again just trying to feed off your exprience as I am at Bramley too.Thanks again jk

    • Steve says:

      HI James,
      I’m planning on using Bramley to run one of my 2 key sessions that week so won’t actually be racing it. That means no taper but I will only be easy running the 2 days before as it is a tough session ( See my latest post for details)
      Say hello if you see me there! ( I’ll be in a yellow/blue BAC vest)

  5. Barry Paterson says:

    Hi Steve,

    Ive been checking out your training on fetch, and it has truely been an amazing journey so far. i started marathon’s about 2 years ago now, starting with 3:21 @ Edinburgh 2009, and currently @ 2:53:52 after Inverness last year. Plan is to hopefully take 10 mins off a year! So next plan is 2:45 @ London this year.

    In terms of training, what has helped you get your times reduced soo much? I am HR training for longer runs, Sub 70% MAXHR for recovery runs, sub 75% Max for general aerobic sessions, would be interesting to hear what you do?


    Barry (bazp on fetch)

    • Steve says:

      Looks like good progress Barry – good luck with your target at VLM. If I had to say one thing which has helped get my times down I would say “consistency”. If you can minimize the backward steps with time out from training then just putting in the consistent miles when you are new(ish) to running will always help. Your percentages look good to me, I also try and do at least one session a week where I’m putting a good few miles within one of my longer runs at my marathon HR (around 85%)., always seems to bring my fitness on no end :-)


  6. Isabelle Wolk says:

    Hi Steve, I remember reading your story on Runners World last year and I always feel so pleased to see you at races leading on :)
    I was there too at Mad March, first time I’ve done 20m, training for my first Marathon in London, all going to plan.

    A fan

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Isabelle!
      Glad things are going well in your build up to London as well. Hope you have a good 6 weeks training!


  7. Matt Cartwright says:

    Hi Steve,
    Been following your posts for a while – really admire the amount of work and thought that goes into your training. I wish I could train as half as hard as you! – i’m constantly troubled by little niggles and injuries – how do you keep things like that at bay?

  8. Steve says:

    Cheers Matt. I have my fair share of niggles to be honest, currently got a couple of “knots” in my calves which I’m hoping will sort themselves out with my cut back of miles in the taper and also my weekly sports massage helps to keep these things under control.
    It also helps if you do all the boring stuff that no-one likes to do like core/strength exercises and post run stretching!
    I guess the other key thing is that we are all individual and we all have different thresholds for how much mileage we can take, I seem to be able to suck up the miles quite easy but when I try and do really short/fast stuff that’s when I start to get issues – like my calves complaining about this weeks speed work!
    Good luck with your training,

  9. Coz says:

    Hi Steve
    I’m 14 years old and run for Bournemouth and recently did my first 10k in 39:51. I want to take this time down too sub 38. Any advice on how many miles I should run a week to achieve this target?

    • Steve says:

      Coz – I’d suggest that if you did 39:51 on your first attempt then just maintaining your current mileage will be sufficient for the moment. Consistency is the key to progress more than anything else. What mileage are you currently doing and how long have you been doing it for? (without any large breaks in training)

  10. Mark Buffery says:

    Hi Steve, I am 42 years old and when 15 used to run for Dorset and gave it up for fags and drinking. I have given up smokin after 25 years for 7 months now and i may have hit a mid life crisis as i started running again and joined Hamworthy Harriers to keep motivated. I did start because i got in the London Marathon for 2011 and hit a dissapointing 3.51 after hitting barrier at 18 miles. I have done 3 parkruns in Poole and pb last week was 19.53 after 2 attempts of sub 20. I wish i was there the week before as i could have said that i beat you when you pacemaked and came in at 20.02. I would just like to say that i follow your runs on Garmin as also i am on there and your times make my eyes water, how you do it is unbelievable and full respect to you and totally admire your determination. I have a question for you -On occasions i feel like going back to smoking and thinking maybe i am too old to start running again and i do like a glass of wine or 2 on nearly every evening. There has been times that i have trained with a hangover. How do you keep motivated and on the right track, do you eat well etc etc and how do you manage to stay away from the smokes and the drink and keep focused with the mileage that you do?

    • Steve says:

      It is tough isn’t it! Probably not the right answer but the truth is I do still treat myself every now and then. When I’m not in the key 3-4 month build up phase before a target marathon I don’t worry too much about my diet, have the odd drink (although to be honest not really a drinker these days anyway) and I even treat myself to the odd cigar (monthly poker night!)
      I find it quite easy to then “knuckle down” in the key phase before my target marathon because all thoughts are on getting the best out of myself for the big day.
      The one thing I do all year round though is not have any “Can’t not be arsed” moments with my training, doesn’t matter how much I don’t feel like going for a run I always try and remember how depressed I get when I can’t run due to injury which normally gets me out the door. I also remind myself how good I feel when the miles are in the bag and the session is done. :-)
      Congrats on the sub 20 at the parkrun, won’t be there this weekend as I’m working all weekend in Manchester but will probably be down most weekends after that so say hi if you see me.

      • David Parker says:

        Hi Steve
        I live in Bournemouth just across the road from BAC but not a club runner. I am running the VLM this year when I will be 50. Last year I ran 2.47 based on a typical magazine training programme which probably averages 70km per week. As I will be 50 this year I though I would like to give it a proper bash but am fully aware that pros like yourself do a lot more training than 40 minutes a day. My aim is to try and copy (to the best of my ability of course) the sort of programme a professional would follow and see what it brings. However I cannot find any to copy. Even looking at your record on your site I can’t quite work out how you have broken down your miles over the days of the week. I would be really grateful if you could me in the direction of a reasonably detailed plan I can have a go at? Thanks David Parker

        • Steve says:

          Hi David,
          If you look back at my weekly blogs you will see every mile in precise detail in the build up to both my marathons last year although I can’t really point you to a specific plan as I make it up as I go along!
          When I fist started marathon running seriously I followed a plan out of the book “Advanced Marathoning” which was good and they have different schedules for different mileages.

  11. Craig says:

    Steve, it’s Craig W from the big bank you used to work for. Great following the running career after all that healthy living you used to encourage :-)
    Need some advice. My wife has just started running and recently entered and finished her first 10k; not bad considering she’s not sporty at all on only put the pumps on 2 months ago. She wants to run a 15K in November and has her mind set on half marathon in H1 2012. Not sure she’s after speed at the moment but any advice how to build up on distance. Should she train up to 15K prior to the race or training runs over shorter distances. Any advice for us novices greatly appreciated. BTW keep going, making us all proud and inspiring a few more of us to get off the couch!!

    • Steve says:

      What do you mean “Used to work for” – I saw you in Radbroke Hall a few weeks ago or have you forgotten!
      Do you have some details of what training she did in order to do the 10k and I can perhaps give some advice based on that.


  12. Mark says:

    Steve, pleasure and an honour to meet you at parkrun yesterday, bit gutted i was pacemaking as i would have run with you and Lee and congrats on his super time sub 20. I have a question if you dont mind giving a bit of advice.
    Last 2 months my legs have felt like an old man of about 80 before and after a run and i dont know if i am training too hard or not having enough rest days but when i look at your training schedule i cant understand why i feel this way because i do about a third of your mileage. I have about 1 day off a week and my 5km time is around 19.50. My easy runs however are around 7.40 mm which i know you will smile at as you can do that backwards. How many mm do you think i should do less than race pace for an easy run and how many am i supposed to do each week as it gets confusing looking at different training advice on RW.. which says i should be doing 8.07 3 times a week but it feels too slow and i end up doing 7.30mm. Should i follow this because 3 easy runs at 8.07 make me yawn on occasions, and one last question, does parkrun count as a tempo run in my weekly schedule as it says i have to do one per week.

    • Steve says:

      Nice to meet you too Mark ……briefly!
      I also feel like an old man most of the time as well, my morning walk to the bathroom is a slow and painful experience!
      I would suggest though that you can slow down your easy runs, mine come out anywhere between 7:30mm and 6:30mm depending on how i feel which means even when I’m at my fastest they are still marathon pace +75s I would suggest just over 8mm pace is about right, if it seems boring then just think about how fresh you are going to feel for those tougher sessions!
      The parkrun only counts as a tempo run if you run it at your threshold pace ( 10k – 10mile race pace for a 20min 5k runner) so it depends how controlled you can be in the race. If you race it flat out then you will be above your lactate threshold point and you will be working a different system.
      3 times a week for your easy runs sounds about right if you are running 6 days a week.


  13. Morten Mortensen says:

    Hi Steve! I’ve been meaning to write to you here on your webpage for quite some time, but only got around to it now – guess I’ve been out running instead :) I’ve been following your great accomplishments for the last couple of years, and have been doing much of the same training as you for my last marathon in Amsterdam this october – although I ‘only’ managed to get around to 80-90 miles pr week and never achieved the epic MP-effort runs that I reckon is the cornerstone of your training, but still a quite similar Lydiard-inspired build-up. Ran a respectable 2.45, but feel I can do so much better. I’m the same background as you – an overweight smoker that started running 2 ½ years ago at the age of 32 and quickly got into decent shape. Now I’m aiming for Copenhagen in may 2012 and I’ll continue following your great updates as I’ve really come to realize what a great inspiration you are and have been to me. Will try to follow your 10 mile MP tempo run each week, do some more Half-marathon pace/MP efforts in my club on tuesdays + up the mileage to 100-110 mpw and see where that gets me come may. Cheers mate!
    Morten from Esbjerg in Denmark

    • Steve says:

      Sounds like we could be twins Morten! It appears you respond well to the same type of training as I do, it’s a long hard slog but you reap the benefits In the end. Good luck with your increased training, keep me posted on your progress as copenhagen approaches.
      Cheers Steve

  14. Steve,

    Dude, awesome run at London. Keep fighting for it! Sub 2.18.00 can be done, I have the same goal in 2012. PR is currently close to yours at 2.19.35. Nate

  15. Nick Robey says:

    Hi Steve, how long after waking up do you take your RHR ?

    • Steve says:

      At the moment I’m not really tracking it but I do tend to see what it settles to before I go out for me run to check it’s not out of the ordinary. Used to record it every Sunday morning, come downstairs straight after I get up before I go for my long run. I would stick the Garmin on before I get out of bed but would wake the misses up with all the beeps 😉

  16. Hi Steve,

    Great blog Steve, I was unfortunately not selected for this years VLM…

    However I am still trying to lose a bit of weight and hope one day to be able to say I have completed the London Marathon..

    I am too an ex-smoker and also an ex-drinker, trying to run my way to a healthier lifestyle… If you ever want to add a guest blog to my site Fitness Blogger UK just let me know..

    Please feel free to come and have a look…

    Health and Fitness Blogs

    Kind Regards

    James Davis AKA The Fitness Blogger

  17. James Knight says:

    Hello again steve, I still check you website daily looking at your times and now your team mates. Question, how do you keep on top of your 5k speed? also when you combine a run with the parkrun do you STOP for a couple of minutes to scan your barcode then move on?
    Are you running bath this year? Thanks JK

    • Steve says:

      Hi James, to be honest Idon’t really keep on top of the shorter stuff when I’m marathon training. To put it into perspective, my parkrun time on Saturday is only just faster than my half marathon PB pace :-) Don’t really worry about it too much though as 5k has never been my strongest distance anyway! …..and yes I normally stop after the parkrun for around 5min to just get my breath back and sort out the barcode stuff before I carry on with the run, don’t think it makes too much difference to be honest as long as you don’t leave it too long for your legs to start tightening up. Cheers, Steve

  18. Andrea Magold says:

    Hi Steve … i just want to say i think your great and good luck at the London marathon i think your an inspiration ,you inspire me and my running friends !!! Andrea

  19. CANOVA FAN says:

    Your website is inspirational and makes me more often to go out and run!

    But tell me how do you cope with lacks of motivation at times? I am running less miles than you and at the end of some long runs I sometimes prefer to be already at home…
    BTW how many miles have you already run this year?!

    Thanks and good luck 😉

    • Steve says:

      Thanks – motivation for me comes from having that target A race to focus on. It’s what gets me out for every run – if I don’t I won’t have a chance of breaking that 21:19:37 PB. I also remind myself of the nice holiday I have planned started the day after VLM 😉
      Miles for the year so far is pretty much dead on 1500 – not as many as 2010 when by the time I was probably closer to 1800 I think. I’ve had quite a few cut back weeks this time due to one reason or another.


  20. Phil Crofts says:

    Marigold! Just googling around for you here, as the talk was of marathons. Didn’t realise you were so famous. All for a little light jogging as well…

    Bloody good luck on Sunday. What time are you hoping for?

    • Steve says:

      He he …. Cheers Mr Crofts :-) hope it feels like light jogging on Sunday! Anything faster than my PB will do (2:19:38) will be heading off at around 2:18 pace.

      Keep an eye out for a twat with bleached yellow hair and a yellow Bournemouth ac vest on the telly box

  21. Keith Bird says:

    Hi Steve.
    Well done on VLM2012 a pb makes all the hard work worth while :) I’m after some advice really cos I can totally relate to where you have come from to where you are now. I started running about 18 months ago at 16 stone to loose weight. Did the VLM2011 in 5.30hrs (real hard work) have just done the Milton Keynes Marathon in 4.09 after losing 2 stone so have made some progress averaging 30mpw.

    My goal is to go sub 3 hours. The main questions I’m asking myself are 1) should I join a running club to run with other people to push myself – at the moment I get my training plan from http://www.fullpotential.co.uk online but I could so with some company on the Sunday LR. 2) was losing weight the biggest factor in how you started to run quicker miles ? 3) any other advice you could give me would be really appreciated!

    apologies for the long essay….. and well done again ! :)

    • Steve says:

      1) Definitely yes! Best thing I did was join Bournemouth AC, running is always better with company and you make a whole new set of friends as a bonus :-)

      2) Lossing weight got me my first big step in the first 6 months but then all my continued progress over the last 3-4 years has come from just keeping up the consistent training and gradually increasing the mileage.

      3)To be honest it looks like you are already making good progress going from 5.30 – 4.09. As I said before if you have the patience and the commitment to keep putting in the consistent training you will see the rewards. There are no secrets in the world of marathon running, hard work = results 😉


  22. Polish translator says:

    Who drafts your training schedule – are you self coached or someone in the running club?!

  23. Gary Roberts says:

    Hi Steve, truly inspirational stuff here. Congratulations on your superb time at VLM. Just a quick question: have you always been a good runner? Or have you simply put in the time and effort to achieve these results?

    I find it incredible to think through hard work and determination you have achieved these results.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Steve says:

      Cheers Gary. I think it’s a bit a both really. Didn’t start running properly until I was 33 but even when I was fat and unfit I was still able to go for an hour run without stopping. The continued progression comes from the hard work and consistency though for the last 4-5years. Just hope a bit more hard work will get me a bit faster as well :-)

  24. Jimbo says:

    Firstly Steve I came across your page by mistake. I was looking up on info for the Boddington 50k and came across your time for 50k earlier in the year, mind blowing time. I’m just hoping to get under 3:20……….But having read your profile you put me to shame, and shows that I could and can do more. I ran my first marathon last week in 2:53:18, I was on for 2:40 or 2:44 at worst, but died a death in the last 7miles. Got to 10miles in 59.48, 20miles in 62.48 and took me 50min to run last 10k. Just to give you an idea of my times. 4 mile 21.11, 5mile 26.40, 10k 33.30, 10mile 54, hm 74, but I can see where I’m going wrong. I run 50miles a week maybe 60 most of the year. But my pace would nearly always be 6.15-6.30 a mile, the odd fartlek session 5.40 -5.50 a mile, and easy long run around 6.40-6.50. Would I be right in saying I need to increase my mileage, take 3 easy paced days but train 1 or 2 days above race pace (intervals) and 1 day at HM pace over 10mile -18 or so??

    Any advice would be welcomed………………………………..


    • Steve says:

      I wouldn’t suggest running 18 miles at HM pace 😉
      Up’ing you mileage would be a natural progression but don’t just jump from 50/60 miles to 80/90 miles overnight otherwise it will end in injury. I would suggest a gradual increase and as you say, you need to drop your pace on a number of your runs to accommodate the increase in mileage. By the looks of it you run nearly all your miles at marathon pace or faster (although it has to be said based on your other times over shorter distances your marathon PB is the weakest) so I would add some runs in there at more like 7m/m pace.
      Take a look at my weekly training summaries from March this year when I was in proper marathon training to get an idea of what my weekly structure was like

      March Training

      Lots of miles considerably slower than MP but also some key runs each week including a combination of MP and faster intervals. These key runs also end up being long runs as well normally in the 17-20 mile range. Where possible on Sunday’s I have used races to run my tough sessions in like the “Mad March 20”

      Good luck at Boddington, 50k is a long old way – start steady!

  25. Jimbo says:


    forgot to run this also by you. I see you really take your heart rate seriously on your runs. I tried it for 2 weeks, but got sick of it. The reason for this was that I was nearly at walking pass if I had to run at 70-75% of target heart rate. When I ran in terms of how I was feeling and controlling my pace I enjoyed my runs alot more, body felt good even though I would have a higher heart rate.

    • Steve says:

      Sounds like you may not have your max heart rate right. How did you decide on your max HR, calculation ordeal life test? If it’s the former then it’s almost certainly wrong!

      75% Max HR form normally works out at around marathon pace + 1 min/mile so certainly not walking pace.


  26. Interested says:

    Hey Steve!

    Am full of respect to your efforts, what yearly (2010-2012) mileage does it take to run that fast??
    Was the 2:19 in 2010 your 2nd marathon after the 3:xx jogging?!

    Wish you good legspeed velocity all the time :-)

    • Steve says:

      Mileage has been
      2008 – 2946
      2009 – 3601
      2010 – 4784
      2011 – 3615 (quite a few injuries)
      2012 – so far 2213

      Marathon progression :
      2008 – 2:35 (twice)
      2009 – 2:25
      2010 – 2:19:37 (and then 2:23 in the autumn)
      2011 – 2:19:38
      2012 – 2:19:04


  27. Stefan says:

    Hi Steve!

    Is there any diet which supports your great running?!
    Would be really interesting to know, what makes you flying…

    Thanks alot

    • Steve says:

      No secret diet I’m afraid. When I’m in the period around 2 months before my target race I try and be as heathly as possible with low fat foods, fresh fruit and veg and minimum amount of unhealthy snacks but during the rest of the year I am quite bad with my food and quite often end up having takeaways!! (Pizza and Thai food my favourites :-) )


  28. James knight says:

    Hello steve, met you at Bramley 2011, I have followed your blogs every day for as long as you have been blogging . I am a keen runner myself and use your updates/reviews as something to motivate me with. Everyone has there views on you and sometimes I think ie pre VLM 2012 your mileage at times is perhaps a little quantity over quality ! But it seems lately that you really have started to progress further to the next level putting in really really good sessions and perhaps not getting too hung up on mileage !! Any Way keep it going and when you run those horrible cold winter runs late at night think of us looking at your garmin times as we in turn use that to motivate us. Cheers

    • Steve says:

      Cheers James, glad I’m keeping you motivated and entertained :-) Long wet day at the relays today, promise I’ll get this weeks blog up tomorrow! You’ll be glad to hear I only ran 6 miles today 😉

  29. Riccardo says:

    Dear Steve,
    I’m part of the organization of Strasimeno ultramarathon and we are inviting top runners for the next edition (2013) of our competition, if you are interested could you please give me your email to send all the details?
    Thank you,

    • Steve says:

      Thank you very much for the offer but I’m afriad I already have plans to do the London Marathon again in 2013 which would clash as it’s in April.

  30. Riccardo says:

    Hi, ok!
    good luck for London and keep the invitation for the next year :-)

  31. James knight says:

    Fantastic Steve I think you’ve just won 50k world champs. Brilliant stuff and you deserve it.

  32. Mark says:

    Fantastic achievement and congrats on becoming a world champ. Hopefully see u sat at parkrun and back to normality. p.s. bet u a fiver i could beat you over 50 metres :-)

  33. Grant says:

    Hi Steve, Congratulations on a storming run to become 50K world champ! Just a quickie, what sort of hydration strategy do you stick to during these distances? I’m curious to hear from an elite racer who is unlikely to be chugging water at the rates some of the sports drinks manufacturers seem to think you need to drink. I’m a slow ultra-distance runner so this type of info from the speedsters is gold :)

    • Steve says:

      Hi Grant. The plan was to have a 500ml bottle of water and 1 SIS GO Gel on each lap (6.25km) and that was for both consumption and chucking over my head. I would estimate that I probably only drank around 200ml of each bottle and the rest I used to keep me cool. For 1 of the bottles I had SIS PSP 22 sports drink instead of water but to be honest I couldn’t stomach it by the time I tried to drink it on lap 5. I also only managed to get 5 of the Gels in me before I couldn’t stomach any more of that either.
      So the total was probably
      Water Drunk – 6 x 200ml = 1.2 litres
      SIS Go Gels – 5
      Water poured over head – 6 x 300ml = 1.8 litres :-)


  34. Manol says:

    Hi Steve

    I first heard about you from Simon Freeman, friend of mine who I met on a train journey in Switzerland this year, coming back from a race. I just wanted to say that what you’ve achieved is absolutely incredible and that you are a great inspiration. Also massive congratulations on becoming a world champion, simply incredible!
    I got into running in January this year and I’ve managed to shave off 49 mins so far. I ran Barcelona in March in 3:46, 6 marathons (mostly in the Alps) later and I ran Berlin in Sept in 2:57 :) . I am super determined to continue training and see how far I get. I have just started working in Bournemouth, at Chaseside, and I will soon be joining Bournemouth AC. I am really looking forward to meeting you. Hope your training is going to plan.



    • Steve says:

      Excellent Manol! Looking forward to meeting you :-) Just come down to any of our club runs, Tuesday evening at 18:00 is our biggest club run of the week meeting in the Kings Park stadium car park so just pop along and introduce yourself – sounds like you have great potential with that marathon improvement!

  35. Ben Fisher says:


    Keen to have a chat with you re your 50k running achievements. I am the Sport Editor at the Bournemouth Rock paper.

    Would appreciate your time.



    M – 07837279589
    E – benfisher94@hotmail.com
    T – @benfishermedia

  36. Przemysław says:

    Hey Steve!
    Your results and especially the +10km yesterday are amazing and a role model for many others, including my humble person…
    What job or profession does you allow to follow the sport that ambitiously?!

    Keep runnin

    • Steve says:

      Cheers! I used to do a stressful I.T job which was really long hours but ingot in the way of training so I managed to find a 9-5 office job in a bank which is a lot more suitable for training twice a day!

  37. Paul says:

    I just discovered this site and it is extremely inspirational. I’ve been running for 2.5 years. I went from not being able to run a mile, to training for the NYC Marathon in 2010 and running in 4:31:45, to running Chicago in 2012 in 3:14. I lost 4 stone but would like to lose a bit more. My next target is to BQ in NYC 2013.

  38. matt bell says:

    Hi Steve

    Quick couple of questions (got to hear about you on marathon talk and followed you ever since) 1. Do you supplement your running with any cross training/weights/strength,or is it all running??2.Knowing what you know now,how relevant/real was the p&d advanced marathoner and would it help “plodders like myself” who want to move up several levels?
    Keep up the excellent blog and good luck in london

    • Steve says:

      Hi Matt,
      Just running I’m afraid. ALl that other good stuff probably would help but I really struggle to motivate myself to do any of it as I don’t enjoy it! I do try and do some basic core exercise routines purely for injury prevention and to try and keep my pelvis alignment/strength up straight but that is about it.
      Regarding the Advanced Marathoning schedules, I would say they are very relevant and you will get a lot closer to your potential by following them. In fact you can build up through their various mileage levels to progress nicely each marathon cycle. To be honest, any well structured plan like that will do a great job as it is the consistency and mileage that will get you those improvements. Only when you are getting close to your potential do you really need to be fine tuning the details with your own personal plans taking from your previous experience and knowledge of what your own body responds to best.

  39. dave b says:

    Steve you are a legend and a source of great inspiration! Followed you for a while now. Just want to thank you for being a gracious runner, see you out whilst running often and you always say hello despite never having met me. Ran Brighton in windy conditions on Sunday after having started running last jan to come home in 2 hour 52. Really chuffed, but not sure where to go from here; never been to running club..would it really help? Good luck on Sunday we’ll be rooting for you cheers david

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Dave! A “runners nod” costs nothing so I like to be polite :-) congrats on the big sub 3 , in those conditions having only started last Jan that’s an impressive performance! now rest and recover for a few weeks and ill see you down Kings Park for a BAC session on a Tuesday night in the not too distant future – you know it makes sense!

  40. Philip says:

    After the rather short VLM ´13 – what´s the next target?

  41. Ian Edwards says:

    Hi Steve, non running question so could you please email me a reply if possible.
    How do you find wordpress to use and maintain and who and how much approx for your domain and hosting? The reason I ask is Ive been tasked to manage the update for our website, though our requirements ie online race entries will add to cost etc. any recommendations for a cost effective local company ?

    all the best

  42. Mo says:

    Hi Steve,
    I found your story quite inspirational! I had a few questions for you since I am a young runner who is looking to head to the front of the pack!
    What kind of work did you do to increase your overall speed and get to a high-performance level? Did you focus on any drills?
    Also, was your focus on higher-intensity running or just easy-running?
    Best and good luck!

    • Steve says:

      hi Mo – all my training in very high detail for the last few years is in my blog so take a look and you can see exactly what my training consists of. ( no drills I’m afraid!)

      • Mo says:

        Ah I see! I thought there were other home-care or other activities that were left out simply because they didn’t involve running directly! Thanks Steve! Keep rocking!

      • Mo says:

        I do have one further question though, do you have any of the weeks detailing to your build-up to your 2:19 marathon performance? Or your first VLM? I’m curious about the details of your first great strides in running which are inspirational!

      • Mo says:

        Apologies for the third reply, but I meant the years 2008 to 2010!

  43. Congrats on your Stockholm win. Very impressive having such a lead.

    Are you now looking forward to the Purbeck marathon?
    Do you think you or anyone else will match or beat your time? Could do with warning the marshals!!
    Is there anyone out there you’d like to compete against in this event?

    Looking forward to seeing you on the day


    The PM

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Jason!
      Hoping I can get back to full training soon enough to have a good run out at the Purbeck marathon! I’ll have to be in good shape to beat my own time from last year to be honest – it’s a tough course!


  44. Ian D says:

    Congrats on 2013 Purbeck Marathon win yesterday. It was my first ever marathon and while disappointed to miss my outside target of 5 hours by 1minute (an inside target by 31 minutes) it was still an amazing experience, and incomprehensible to a beginner to think that you were finishing as I was still 9 miles from home!. How does Purbeck compare to a road marathon for an elite runner like yourself?

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Ian…. sorry for the delayed response – taking a bit of a break from the blog at the moment! Congrats on the the time, good work seeing as you picked a rather tough marathon for your first one! For me I use the the Purbeck marathon as a tough training run so I don’t race it 100% and don’t focus my training to “peak” for it either. Hitting those hills builds great strength which will help me on those flat road marathons towards the end of the 26.2. It’s nice to be able to race a marathon and not worry about the time, as soon as I hit a flat road marathon I feel the need to hit certain target times so the Purbeck marathon suits me well for a training run as I can just run it to a pre-determined effort level which I know will build my fitness levels.
      Good luck with your future running career,

  45. Anders says:

    Hi Simon, I have just read your blog from the Stockholm 100km – very impressive performance. I will turn 50 next year and have completed two Marathons a few years ago (Berlin and Stockholm). Do you think it is too short time to start training now for next years 100 km in Stockholm? My first goal with that would be just to finish, my second target is to have 2 x the winning time (so nice and “easy” pace…).
    If I will complete a Marathon in May/June around 4 hours, do you Think that would be enough to run the Ultra at around 13 hours?

    Difficult for you to say – I know, but I need some extra push!

    • Anders says:


    • Steve says:

      Sorry – completely missed your post so didn’t respond! If you haven’t given up on me answering then here it is 😉 I would say you would have no trouble running a 100km under 13 hrs if you can manage a marathon in 4hrs. Obviously you still need to put in some 100km specific training but a 4hr marathon definitely means you have enough speed.

  46. Anders says:

    Thanks for the encouragement !
    I am planning to do the 100 km in two years time; +50 km in 2014 and then aim for the 100 km in 2015.

    Let’s hope for a successfull 2014!

  47. Terry says:

    Hi Steve, firstly I would like to say how truly inspirational your story is!
    There is so much to gain from reading about your accomplishments with running. Your dedication and hard work set a fine example to all runners.

    My question is this. How long did it take for you to realise that you had the potential to compete. Did your running times come down drastically or was it a gradual improvement over time?

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Terry!
      Initial drop in times was pretty fast. From when I started properly (I had dabbled with running in my younger days but never any real training) I went from nothing in Sep 07 to a 2:35 marathon at London ’08 with a 72:xx at the Bath Half on the way. That did come from 6 months of very consistent training though following a 24 week marathon plan (up to 70 miles a week)
      Since then the extra minutes have been harder to find! (VLM09 – 2:25 / VLM10 – 2:19 / VLM11 – 2:19 / VLM12 – 2:19)

  48. Kevi Egan says:

    Hi Steve, you are bit of a legend in these parts (Swanage) I have entered my first ever marathon and yes it’s the Purbeck marathon!! I have just turned 50…. I used to run a lot but have let it slip over the last 8 yrs but now its time to get back running, can you please advise the best way for me to train for this marathon or is there a program I can follow, I run 5/6 times per week 30+ miles generally 8mm. Any advice you can give will be a great help. Best Regards Kevin

    • Steve says:

      Hi Kevin,
      Sorry for the delay, I haven’t been on my blog for the last couple of weeks due to the house move! I would seriously suggest taking a look at this book http://www.amazon.co.uk/Advanced-Marathoning-Peter-Pfitzinger/dp/0736074600 . I used it for my first marathon and it has some great plans in it as well as explaining the reasons behind the training. I think the lowest mileage schedule peaks at around 50 miles but most of the weeks will be in the 30’s and 40’s I think.
      See you next year at the Purbeck marathon!

      • Kevin Egan says:

        Hi Steve thanks for getting back to me, things have been a little depression as I have torn my soleus with a 25% tear, been going to body in motion twice a week for treatment with great results! had my first jog out for over a month so hope to be back training properly in the next few weeks fingers crossed! Will defo order the book, what do you think would be a realistic time to run the purbeck marathon in all being well and fit . Take care see you at the marathon , regards Kevin

  49. Hi Steve

    I would appreciate it if you could get in touch with me about a publicity opportunity.

    Many thanks

    Alishah Shariff

  50. Rob Mitchell says:

    Hi Steve,

    Well done for the win on Saturday in the New Forest- i finished 9th and a mere 56 minutes behind you! (i was struggling on that stretch of road into the head-wind on my last lap when i saw you running the opposite direction!)
    I just had a question re nutrition- i’ve been using Torq gels, and Zero tablets and salt sticks for electrolytes, with ok results, but the chap i ran with for a while, who ended up in 3rd place, was fuelled just from his 1.5l hydration vest which he said was a carb based mix (cant remember the brand). So i just wondered what your nutrition strategy was on Saturday and whether you’ve tried many different types or just landed with one you prefer?

    Many thanks,

    • Steve says:

      Cheers Rob and well done yourself, I think everyone found that headwind on the road a bit of a nightmare!
      I don’t tend to take on my carbs in liquid form as it gives me stomach issues. I add “elete” electrolyte add-in to any water I’m carrying but that doesn’t cover any energy requirements. My choice for that comes in the form of Cliff “Shot bloks” which are a cross between a gel and solid – work well for me. Have experimented with a number of products and when it comes down to it, just need to find something that you can get down you and doesn’t cause “pit-stops” 😉

      • Rob says:

        Hi Steve,

        Thanks for the reply- i might give the shot bloks a try- i’ve only ever sampled the freebies from the Cliff gazebo before the Hellrunner events!

        All the best for the rest of the season,

  51. kevin grant says:

    you are inspirational!!!!!!! Am 57 been running for 8 months after a life of smoking (since I was 11) 1000’s of litres of vodka – a terrible and over indulgent diet – lose women and things I cannot mention without getting the local constabulary involved – I now feel motivated to change the world. Did first marathon last weekend (brighton) in 4’37″02. Almost twice as long as you VLM – however am telling you when I crossed the line I felt like a world champion. Glad I spotted your page

  52. Sarah Whittington says:

    Great job, Steve. Inspirational VLM 2014 from start to finish.

    I’m based in Doha, Qatar. Let me know if you’re proposing to come to the IAU 50km champs this year. I did the test event so can give feedback. It’s a first time host for any major running comp (we only had our first marathon this year) so there’s a few quirks to be aware of.

    Anyway, great job!

    • Steve says:

      Hi Sarah,
      I want to do the 100km Worlds which are also in Doha in November so I probably won’t do the 50km as well. Any tips will be useful if I do do the 100km though as I suspect it is on the same course.

  53. Chifan Leung says:

    Hi Steve,

    Great respect of running a very fast time for the London Marathon. I have seen the statistics from your Garmin which is very impressive since your heart rate is quite low even running at 5:00 mile pace. My heart rate is almost 180 even when I run at a pedestrian 6:00 mile pace. How did you manage to get that?

    I am 23 now and decided to have a go in running seriously after I graduate this July. My dream is to break the 3 hour mark for 50K race in a few years later, then thinking of breaking 7 hour mark for 100K. But certainly my time is not good enough as my 10 mile personal best is 56:40. Is it too far to reach the 3 hour 50K goal?


    • Steve says:

      Good luck with your goals Chifan… anything is possible with consistent training over a number of years. That is what has got my aerobic base so strong and why I have such a low heart rate. Also don’t forget I am now nearly 40 and so my max HR is starting to drop slightly meaning my HR range will be lower.

  54. Dean Newman says:

    Hi Steve,
    well done on the VLM that was an amazing time especially after reading your story. I put on a race called The Eliminator Race, with have a 26.2mile distance that I think you would love as an ultra runner, the terrain is very tough and giving the time of year the weather will not be on your side.
    I would love to have you at the start line along with many other top athletes, please check out the website and let me know if you are interested.
    Many thanks
    Dean Newman
    Race Director

  55. Hi Steve,

    we would like to run some positive editorial on you. Can we publish your before and after images?


    Gareth Richman
    Digital Picture Editor
    Evening Standard

    • Steve says:

      No problem Gareth although I don’t actually own the copyright to the “after” picture. I’m afraid I can’t remember who the photographer was. (There are quite a few pictures from this weekend if you want to use one of them which I can point you in the direction of?)

  56. Amir says:

    I was 16.5 stone and a smoker two years ago. You give me hope. Thanks for sharing your story and keep it up!

  57. Lee Clarke says:

    Hi Steve

    First well done at VLM for being third Brit home and getting that PB.
    I started running in 2012 after gaving a minor storke and being a size 38 in jeans with everyone saying that I cant do this even my doctor said I can not run it could kill me. I smoked I dranked on loads of pills. I remember meeting a friend whom just done his first Brighton Marathon and he lost loads of weight. I said I wanted to do a marathon he said can I run of course I said hell no so we did the c25k training. Did some local races and then Luton Marathon came and did 4hrs 31mins was not sick once. 2013 was my half marathon season as I joined Bedford Harriers. I got a PB of 2hrs 7mins. This year I got told I am getting to fast for the group I am with and need to move up group then something personal happen which chage everything.

    My question when you started running did you have your friends laugh at you and tell you that you cant do this. How did you lose your belly and do you still get demons trying to remind you of where you were and how do you dear with it

    • Steve says:

      Well done on your progress so far, keep at it mate. No real mikey take from my friends when I first started other than the odd “Run Forest Run” chant, they just saw that I wanted to get fitter.My weight started to come down quite quickly just through some consistent running and trying to be a bit more sensible with my food – saved takeaways for a treat rather than every day!
      I still sometimes crave my old ways of eating and drinking and I let myself be naughty after some of my big races (quite often when I’m on holiday) but then it isn’t long before I miss being fit and healthy again and want to get back to training and healthy eating again.
      Good luck

  58. Harriet Rees says:

    Your story is utterly inspirational – Congratulations on the VMLM! At what point on your journey did you realise you had such an aptitude for running? I do some running – started out as stress relief but now running about 3/4 times a week with no speed training or coaching, I’ve managed to get my half marathon time down to under 100 minutes – I’d love to be aiming for some faster times but not sure what milestones/methods would be sensible. Will be following your future career with interest!

    • Steve says:

      Hi Harriet!
      I knew quite early after is started running that It was the sport for me as even when I was overweight I found I was able to run for extended period of times without stopping, just not quite as fast as now! Congrats on the half marathon time, get yourself along to a club if you haven’t already as that will always give you some direction and help in progressing your running,

  59. Martin Cartwright says:

    Hi Steve!
    I think you get the idea now you are an inspiration to all of us!
    I have been running now for about 4 years and have one marathon in my under my belt time of 4hrs 28min:33sec. (but I smoked all through that training, I know very bad of me!). I now run for a running club and have started to get quicker with my best 5K at 23:43.

    But I wanted to ask do you think that we all individually have a peak fitness?

    The thought of me running a sub 3:30 marathon is very daunting!

    Do you feel that you were natural runner and just didn’t know until you started?

    We have some very fast runners in our club and I want to run with them one day. I’m 41 and worried that time is running out to get reach my goals.


    • Steve says:

      4hrs 28 while smoking all the way through training – just think wants possible off the fags!!
      I think I possible always had some talent for running but never knew about it until I gave it a go later in life. We definitely all have a top potential based on our genetics but in general I would say we all underestimate what that is. Even when I got my marathon time under 2:30 I’d idnt think I was capable of what I’m doing now! I would say most peoples limiting factor is not their genetic limits but their dedication to the training. Very few reach their potential as it requires years of consistent training. ( it appears I’m just getting going in year 7 :-)
      Don’t worry about your real age, it’s your running age that counts. You are a spring chicken at 4 years old so lots more to come with consistent training I say.
      Good luck

  60. Martin Cartwright says:

    I don’t smoke now tho!

  61. Martin Cartwright says:

    Yes.. I have been very lapse on training over the past few years so after reading about you now is the time to dedicate and inspire like you do. I’m injured at the moment but getting physio next week so will be build up to hope beating sub 3:45 at the Chester Marathon in October this year…….and Mo Farah who is he again? 😉

  62. Martin Cartwright says:

    Me again! can I trouble you for a example weeks diet? what you eat etc?

    • Steve says:

      Will try at some point mate although just trying to keep on top of comments at the mo!
      (It will be nothing exciting – It’s not my strongest or healthiest part of my lifestyle!)

  63. Martin Cartwright says:

    OK no worries mate… if you can then great..I bet your busy!

  64. Elliot says:

    Hi Steve! So pleased that I found your blog. You are inspirational.

    I started running this time last year. I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 11 (I’m 16 now) and received some good news about my health around this time in 2013 so signed up to run a 10k for charity and haven’t looked back since! Got a few more 10ks coming up in the summer and have recently signed up for a few half marathons. Can’t imagine my life without running now!

    If I can achieve even half of what you have then I’d be a very happy boy. Keep up the good work!

    • Steve says:

      Wow!! Fantastic work Elliot and great to hear that your health is improving. Good luck with the 10kms and halves …… Keep that training up and you’ll see lots of improvements :-)

  65. Neil Beacher says:

    Hi Steve. I introduced myself at the New Forest 50k. Really glad your preparation for your Ultra stood you in such good stead at London. It was an amazing performance. I was really interested after discovering your blog in your training methods and your different types of training runs. As someone who has also recently gone from road marathons to ultras (and that’s where the similarity ends!) I have found I feel really strong over distance but my flat speed has reduced. Seeing how you still keep the track sessions and threshold runs in with your long runs inspired me to get back to the Winchester track last night and feel the pain again :-) Cheers and congratulations again.

  66. Steve Wyatt says:

    Now that you are REALLY Famous , how about coming and having a crack at our course record for the Wimborne 10 in November ? No appearance fee, no pacer but some lovely free tea and cakes at the end ! Bring any fast friends and make a race of it ! Well done on VLM, never mind Mo Farah, my children know that you and I occasionally start in the same races. OK, so we might not finish anywhere near each other but they are very impressed anyway.

    • Steve says:

      Cheers Steve, may well do the Wimborne 10 this year as it will be 13 days out from the World 100km assuming I manage to qualify for it!
      Can’t guarantee I will be able to get Willard’s course record off him though 😉

  67. Sean Cullen says:

    Hi Steve,

    Many congratulations on your London PB. I saw you striding down the mall on the BBC and thought, ‘that guy looks pleased with himself’ – and rightly so!

    I’ve just turned 36, have recently started running from a base of reasonable fitness, and am currently trying to get my eye in on using heart rate for training. I see that you averaged the VMLM2014 at 157bpm. Can you please let me know your current max heart rate so I can calculate the %HR you ran the marathon (and other recent efforts) in?. Also, what’s the highest average %HR you’ve hit for a marathon and what do you think your upper limit is here? That is, what’s the average HR that would make you think you had started too quickly or were getting into dangerous territory in a marathon?

    I do most of my training by pace, using the McMillan calculator, and will hopefully progress to gauging it by effort when I get more experience but it’s nice to have the HR data, which I currently use for controlling effort during long runs. What do you think of the McMillan calculator pace ranges actually – are they reasonably accurate in your estimation?

    Oh and by the way, I see that you only hit a Garmin Training Effect of 4.9 for the VMLM…I thought you were racing that Steve 😉 Best of luck in your upcoming 100K.


    • Steve says:

      Thanks Sean, I did have a rather big smile on my face didn’t I 😉
      To be honest I’m not that sure what my max HR is anymore. Back when I was 33 and started running I did a max HR test quite early and I think it came out around 187. I would guess these days it’s more like 180 as I rarely see anything over 175 in training but I haven’t done a max test while fresh and tapered so don’t know for sure. It does appear that the rule that you lose a beat every year of your life as you get past around 30 does seem to have come true for me.
      In the same respect I used to be able to average around 164-165 in a marathon and as long as it didn’t go over around 166 I was reasonably “safe”. Each marathon I do these days it seems to come down a little bit but I was really surprised with this years average, it was a lot lower than I would have predicted – obviously need to try a bit harder! If my max is now 180 then 157 works out at about 87-88% max which is about right if you are an experienced marathon runner who has fine tuned their training I believe.
      I have used McMillan quite a bit in the past and find it quite useful and accurate to be honest, as I have got older though the shorter race predictions and short rep paces are very much beyond me though, when it comes down to it – they are a good starting point but they are only averages and very few people are actually “average” 😉
      Hope this helps,

      • Sean Cullen says:

        Thanks for the info Steve. I guess the max HR reading of 193 from your VMLM2014 garmin connect page must have been a spike. Either that or you had a heart in mouth moment when you realized that you were actually going to get on the Beeb!

        When I initially discovered the joy of running at 35, I was a little peeved at having got into it so late – I thought my fast times may have been behind me. Your continued improvement has restored my enthusiasm and faith that anything is possible with dedication and effort. Cheers for the blog and all the best with your training.


        • Steve says:

          Thanks Sean, yes the first part and last part of my HR stats for VLM this year are duff data, both ends are false readings, I wish I could hit 193 though 😉

  68. Mathew Rowbotham says:

    Hi Steve,

    I’ve recently heard about you and your story from colleagues at my local running club Weymouth and St Paul’s Harriers which I joined a couple of months ago. I’ve been searching to see if you have any books out but I can’t seem to find any.

    I too used to be overweight weighing 17 stone, through exercise, slimming world and support from others I am now just under 12 stone. I love running and after several injuries I’m now back but progressing at a much more sensible pace. I’m 34 years old.

    I currently run 8 min mile pace on 10 mile runs and for 5k my quickest is 7:22 pace. I would love to know how you went from where you were to the place you are at now – i.e. how often you ran, what distances etc. I’ve looked through your archive blog but it seems to start when you were already very fast. I don’t ever expect to get anywhere near your pace but I would love to get to 6 min mile pace. I’ve managed to do 6:12 for one mile on a treadmill and it nearly killed me! I’m happy for it to take time I would just like to know what I should be doing.

    Currently I’m training for my first ever marathon the Bournemouth Marathon and I train as follows:

    Monday 4 miles
    Tuesday 3 mile (1 mile warm up sprint, hill or step training then 1 mile cool down)
    Wednesday rest
    Thursday 6 mile club run
    Friday rest
    Saturday parkrun
    Sunday rest

    The distances will be increasing each week following a marathon training plan.

    I am not restricted by when or how much I can train as I work for myself and only really have to do a few hours a day.

    Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance


    • Steve says:

      No books I’m afraid Mathew, only just find the time to write the odd blog! Congratulations on the weight loss and running progress, keep the consistency going and the pace will drop I promise. If you want to see all my training from 2008 onwards (so only missing the first 4 months) then join fetcheveryone.com (free) and add me as a friend (profile name “marigold”) you can then view all my runs I have uploaded
      Good luck with your progress

  69. Mathew Rowbotham says:

    Thanks Steve,

    I’ve just added you so I’ll take a look :-)

    I’ll keep going then and fingers crossed the times will drop…watch this space!

    Thanks again.


  70. Craig Muress says:

    Well done Steve on the 100k- I am worried about running my next marathon 5 weeks after VMLM, let alone a 100k 3 weeks after you are an inspiration !!!

  71. Alastair Todd says:

    Steve, well done on you superb efforts over the last month or so, you must be super pleased with the 2:16. I listened to your interview on Marathon Talk recently and I was very interested to hear what you had to say about core strength training. I may have missed it on your website, or indeed this thread, but do you have a link anywhere to your strength training programme? As I reach the ripe old age of 48 I am conscious that my core strength could be better and that a weak core does cause me postural problems. It’s all very well doing the running, but at my advanced age the strengthening exercises will definitely help. The trouble is that there are as many different programmes out there as there are websites so I wondered what advice you could give, as it obviously works for you! Keep up the good work.

    • Steve says:

      Hi Alistair,
      A few people have asked about my core routine and even though as I mentioned on MT it is not particularly exciting I will stick up a blog post with the details soon. The important thing is you actually do ANY core exercises and when you do them you do them right and consistently week in , week out!

  72. SJPC14 says:

    Come and try and break Ron Hills Freckleton half marathon record. Its stood for something like 60 odd years and i bet he’d love to see it broken.

  73. Steve says:

    Already down to do the “hackney half” that day I’m afraid but thanks for the offer!

  74. Jim Ferguson says:

    Steve ,
    I have been watching your improvements for the past couple of years , your times for all your distances are fantastic , well done.

    I have been running for over 30 years and for most of that time I use a HRM.
    I train at about 62% of my working H/R ( 126 AVE ) , My resting H/R is 36 .
    I 54 years old and my 10k pb was 31.29 at my best, using my H/R training .

    I am curious to know how much you rely on heart rate training ? .

    I train using the phil maffattone method i.e. your age subtracted from 180 .

    Good luck in the Commonwealth games in the summer.

    Cheers Jim

    • Steve says:

      To be honest I don’t actually use my HR stats while running at all these days. I just run to effort but I love to view all the stats afterwards which is why I still wear a monitor. It also helps me when reviewing my training to gauge my fitness levels.
      I find these days that it is my legs I have to look after when running and very rarely am I restricted by HR …. Big engine , knackered wheels 😉

  75. Cat Attfield says:

    Steve, what an inspiration! A brilliant example of where hard work, determination and dedication can get you. A really positive example to set x

  76. Jess Long says:

    Hello Steve,
    What a great story you have and a real inspiration. I am a freelance journalist and I am doing a series of interviews in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games, about athletes stories, and was just wondering if you would like to be involved. If you are interested please email me on jessica.long92@hotmail.co.uk where we can discuss the details.

    • Steve says:

      Sorry for the delayed response Jess. I really don’t want to sound ungrateful but I’m afraid I’ve had to start turning people down now on telling my “story” as I have had so many requests and I can’t keep on top of it all. Trying to respond to everyone while working full time and focusing on my training has proved a little too tricky!
      Sorry again and all the best with your project

  77. Damian says:

    Hello Steve

    Massive congrats on your London performance and Commonwealth Games selection. So inspiring, especially for people like me of a similar age (we have the same times for our marathon debuts! Though I’ve haven’t quite caught up with you since…).

    Anywho, I’ve got a magazine very interested in doing a story on you. If you’re interested, would you please send a quick email to damian_hall@hotmail.com or perhaps DM me on That Twitter.

    Look forward to hearing from you

    Many thanks


    • Steve says:

      thanks for the kind offer Damian. I really don’t want to sound ungrateful but I’m afraid I’ve had to start turning people down now on telling my “story” as I have had so many requests and I can’t keep on top of it all. Trying to respond to everyone while working full time and focusing on my training has proved a little too tricky!
      Sorry again

  78. Paddy Connolly says:

    Hi Steve, Just read your story mate unbelievable.
    I’m a 40 year old pleasantly plump dad of 2 weighing in at 16 and a half stone.
    I’ve started running again after years of playing football and Hurling an Irish Sport.
    My Dad died last year of a heart attack he was only 66. So I’ve decided to get myself back in shape again would you have any advise for me.
    Motivation is key i know so i need to use the kids and my wife Alison as my inspiration.But would you be able to suggest a running plan i should use or do i just run, run ,run.
    Best of luck in the games , i look forward to your reply.

    Kind regards Paddy.

    • Steve says:

      Hi Paddy, sorry for the delayed response! To start with I would just go out and enjoy your running trying to run a minumum of 3 times a week which will lead to some improved fitness and performance improvements. Once you have got a couple of months base training in , you can look to follow a specific plan. Depending on what sort of mileage you have managed to build up to will determine the plan to be honest and also what target length race you want to aim for. I personally followed the plans in a book called “Advanced Marathoning” which has a number of plans for someone targeting a marathon. For shorter distances and less miles you will find lots of plans on sites like Runners World. The key at this stage of your running is to maintain consistency so to be honest the finer details of the plans are not that important…… following them is!

  79. David says:

    Hi steve, looking forward to seeing you in my hometown glasgow, im a middle of the pack ultrarunner and just wondering what advice you could give me re the voices in my head telling me to stop every now and again (and I do probably too often).
    And what is your nutrition in an ultra and how often do you take it/force it down you?
    Thanks in advance

    • Steve says:

      Hi David,
      I get all my motivation from my taget races. If I don’t have one then the voices in my head tell me not to bother getting up for my morning run as well. Focus on a target race, put a plan together and stick to it – works for me!
      As I put in my 100km report, my nuturition at that race was not great and I only managed to take on around 1000 calories in the first half of the race in the form of a Cliff bar and a few packets of Cliff Shot Bloks. I’ve recently been using some flapjacks from “Chia Charge” and have found them much easier to eat while on the run so I’m planning on using them for my next Ultra race in combination with the CLiff Shot Bloks again.

  80. Janet says:

    Hi Steve,
    I have been reading your blog and have great respect for your running. My questions are how do you recover so quickly between runs that you are able to hold a full time job and run twice a day, with hardly any rest days? Could you also please explain a little about your diet, lifestyle, sleep etc? Also what other training do you do apart from your runs? Do you do strength training and core workouts?


    • Steve says:

      Honest answer is I don’t know why I recover so well Janet! I do now have a job which I specifically took for its 9-5 office structure which makes 2 runs a day a lot easier than when I had an IT job which involved working twice as many hours a week! Big pay cut but worth it :-)
      I guess I’m just lucky with my genetics in terms of recovery as I don’t do anything special, 7-8 hours sleep a night, average diet (porridge in the morning, sandwich and soup at lunch, pasta/rice dishes mainly in the evening) I’m pretty lazy apart from my running so not a huge amount of physical activity outside of my training, basic core and strength routine around 4-5 times a week that mostly revolves around various types of “planks”.
      To be honest, I think a lot of people would be surprised what they are capable of, spend a lot of time coping with aches and pains and “breaking through” fatigue barriers – getting the fine line between the big training I do and cutting back on the stuff which I know puts me at risk of injury (mostly shorter faster stuff!) is where I try to get my gains….although I do get it wrong sometimes 😉

      • Janet says:

        Hi Steve
        Thank you for your reply. Do you find you make better progress by training twice a day, or do you just do that to fit your mileage around work etc? (Does two sessions work better than doing the same training in one long session?) I am looking for ways to improve my marathon training and wondering if running morning and evening some days would help.
        Also please could you give me some advice about nutrition during races? I’ve only ever done two longer races (a 50k in 4:03 last year and VLM 3:14 this year) Both times I got stomach cramps after having gels – I had to walk for a while in the 50k and slow down in VLM (My training runs we’re all shorter (up to around 20 miles), so I only used 1-2 gels maximum in them – which was ok.
        I have enterered two marathons for next year and would like to try for a sub 3 hrs (My half PB is 1:28:31, so not sure if that’s realistic?) What nutrition/drinks do you use in marathons and your longer races?

        • Steve says:

          I only drink water Janet and then during a marathon I use SIS Go gels (4 or 5). In races longer than a marathon I use Chai Charge flapjacks and Cliff Shotbloks

  81. Adam Lightfoot says:

    Hi Steve
    been very inspired by your story, after 25 Yrs of playing footy, ive finally retired age 33 and taken up running. My knees aren’t to bad considering all the football, ive got some scar tissue on the medial ligament from football injuries, apart from that the structure of my knee is fine. Ive only been going a few weeks and have managed to run a 18 min 30 sec 5k and 40 min 10k. This is from limited training 4-5 miles a week as well as a 5k or 10k at the weekend. I ve jus entered the Birmingham half marathon in Oct, I plan to build my milage up steadily, using a mixture of cross training- cycling swimming, and running to protect my knees and joints. Im quite ambitious and would like to see what standard I could get to with some structured training, any ideas??
    regards Adam

    • Steve says:

      Simple answer is 7 years training and 26000 miles, thats how long its taken me to get close to my potential also starting at age 33!
      At the moment it doesn’t really matter what training you do seeing as you have just started, all your gains will come from consistency and gradually building up your miles – patience and hard work required as it will take week after week of consistent training. The good news is that at this stage of your running you will see big early improvements if you maintain the consistency which will keep you motivated!
      As for the finer detail, 4 years of detailed training on my blog might be a good start 😉

  82. Janet says:

    Thanks Steve.
    Congrats on your win today and best of luck for the Commonwealth Games. :)

  83. Tiffany Thompson says:

    Hi Steve, can you get in touch we would love to hire you for an event if you are free? Tiffany tiffany@flourish-marketing.co.uk

  84. Neil Beacher says:

    Hi Steve,

    As someone who takes an interest in your training methods have you got or ever thought of setting up a Strava profile? Also if you go to http://www.copymysports.com and link your Garmin Connect id to your Strava account anything uploaded onto Garmin Connect gets automatically put on Strava too. Just a thought – be interesting to see how many followers you get :-)

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Neil but I hardly have time to review my training in the places I already log it and by all accounts Strava can be quite life consuming so I think I resist at the moment 😉

  85. Hi Steve,

    Reading your story in Runners World was enought prove i needed that it can be done if you want it enough!

    I wish you all the luck in the world!

    Cheers Richard –

  86. stuart silvers says:

    Hi Steve

    Best of luck for the Commonwealth Games.

    My name is Stuart Silvers – a freelance reporter for a major international news network.

    Could you contact me stuartmsilvers@hotmail.com – regarding a possible interview pre-games?



    • Steve says:

      Thanks for the offer Stuart but I’m now at the England holding camp and I have already done quite a bit of media over the last 2 days….time to get my head down now and prepare for the race.
      Sorry again but it’s all getting a bit close now!

      • stuart silvers says:

        Well done in the Commonwealth Games Steve. I just wondered if you were still interested in a TV interview for Al Jazeera – now the Glasgow media blitz is over? The 100k is in Doha – where Al Jazeera head office is based – so I think they’ll regard it as an even bigger deal than the Commonwealths. I’m a freelancer based out of London – so a trip to meet you down on the south coast would be pretty straightforward. If you’re interested contact me on stuartmsilvers@hotmail.com or 07803 205468. Apologies for pestering you – but it’s a great story – as I’m sure LOTS of journos have told you. Stuart Silvers.

        • Steve says:

          Hi Stuart,
          If you don’t mind hanging on a bit until I know that I’m going to be in good shape for the 100km then maybe do something early November?

          • stuart silvers says:

            thanks Steve – will pitch the idea to my Al Jazeera bosses. I imagine we could do the whole thing in a few hours – we probably need a bit of filming of you behind a desk as well as training – to give a contrast. I’ll contact you again if they give it the green light. Good luck with the training.

          • Steve says:

            the “behind the desk” thing might be a bit tricky – i got made redundant from my office job!

          • stuart silvers says:

            Hi Steve – how is training going for Doha?
            Would you be able to mail me on stuartmsilvers@hotmail.com – might be easier than communicating on here.
            I’ve lined up an interview with a chap called Greg Whyte to talk about the sports science side – don’t know if you’re familiar with him.
            But really need to chat to you too – to work out what we’re going to film and who else to speak to – that’s if you’re still interested.

  87. stuart silvers says:

    sorry -it’s Al Jazeera by the way – it would go out worldwide – but I appreciate you must be very busy at the moment.

  88. Duncan says:

    I am following your progress with great interest, and have been since I heard you on the radio a few months ago. I think your achievement in getting to the CWG is just so inspiring.

    Yours story is really interesting at so many levels – and it fundamentally challenges the orthodox view of the trajectory of human sporting performance. And you are still getting faster and faster and faster.

    I will be cheering you all the way.

    Good luck !!

  89. Sara Morgan says:

    Hi Steve, good luck from Cornwall!

    I’ve put it in my calendar to remember watch, I didn’t watch one bit of the London Olympics so that kind of makes you a big deal :)

    Good Luck again and don’t be shit.


  90. Martin Crosby says:

    Hi Steve, I was reading your story in today’s Times. Brilliant. Very inspiring. I’m 45′ over 16 stone (have been over 17 stone) and struggle with my weight. I had a brain tumour removed 5 years ago which partly explains the weight, I am steroid dependent and am always hungry. I have a love hate relationship with running. I did the great north 10k last weekend in 66 minutes, 20 minutes slower than I did 10k 14 years ago. I did the London Marathon,14 years ago, so I know I can do things. I need some inspiration and something to make me stick at it. Any tips Steve? Anyway, the main purpose of my message was to say good luck in Glasgow. Enjoy it most importantly!!!

  91. Stephen Lomax says:

    Hi Steve, really intrigued by your story, especially after glimpsing your achievements. I too was an overweight smoker around 18 months ago, and self trained for a marathon on a whim. Nothing near as impressive as yours so won’t go into mathematical details. I’ve since done a couple of Ultras, a 45 and a 100km…currently training to nail a SUB3 marathon in Sydney soon….to the point, I definitely trained for more than three weeks for my original quite slow marathon and I run 2-6 times a day every day with a pack between 50-150km per week. ….so, I’m really keen to know whether you had a running or sports background of any kind in the years before you became overweight and smoked and was hoping you could maybe provide a few key facts or pointers to help us slow bastards to step up the game sooner rather than later. The media naturally want to focus on the extreme shift from fat to elite- and of course it’s impressive beyond the norm- but I was really hoping to pin you down to reveal the hard training secrets that have allowed this short, sharp and shockingly effective physical transformation to come about. Could you shed some light on it, the information doesn’t seem to be out there on the web from what I’ve seen. Cheers mate. All the best.

  92. Lee says:


    I have just read through your story. Inspirational! All the best in the Commenwealth Games and for the future. The honesty and openness that you display here, throughout your website, is a great example to all!

    Best Regards,


  93. Matthew Kendell says:

    Hi steve,

    Great to read you story. You epitomise courage boldness and audacity. I love to hear examples of humans who have defied social norms and changed the landscape forever. Many runners broke the 4 minute mile barrier after roger bannister did it for the first time because he demystified ‘4 minutes’ and made everyone believe. Society needs people like you, leaders with the courage to show their vulnerabilities, and take risks and show what is possible when we overcome our deepest fears. I think you have had a an effect with runners in their early thirties. I’m 32 and am taking running seriously at he moment. I’m running 80 -100 miles a week at the moment though I’ve only recently got to this mileage. I haven’t always run however. I started running for a few years in my teenage years but then I gave it up do to anxieties, and low self esteem As a result of comparing myself to others. This is a big source of regret as I believe I have the potential to run a sub 2:2o marathon. But you’ve made me believe that I still have the time to redeem myself. I have a 9 – 5 job with no real commitments so I’ve decided to go all in and commit over the next few years to emulate what you’re doing. Just one question about body weight. Did you’re body weight go down purely from upping your mileage or did you also reduce you’re calorie intake?? I’ve struggled to get my body weight down. I’m 75 kg at the moment. Looking at top runners of my height (5″11) my ideal body weight would be around 64 kg.

  94. David says:

    Hi Steve,

    I’m 39, from Poole and have always really enjoyed beer (and quite a lot of it!). Last year however I decided I was going to try to follow in my fathers footsteps and take part in the Great North Run which I completed. I then “ran” the Reading Half earlier this year and am now in training to hopefully stumble over the finish line again in the Great North again next month… I’m slow, but consistently slow in a ploddy, sweaty sort of way! :-)

    Today was the first time I came across your story… I thought at 39 I was probably past it and maybe this Great North would be my final… Not now! How inspirational are you exactly? Incredible… You’ve really made me have a complete rethink!

    The best of luck for the Commonwealth Games. I hope you perform at your very best!

    Maybe I’ll catch you for a sly one in The George one day!? Only a half of course!



  95. Martin Allan says:

    Hi Steve

    I try and run (not quickly but now up to 3 marathons) and just love your story – you are an incredible human and a true inspiration. As a Scot and Brit I’m ever so proud to see so many amazing, inspiring British performances in Glasgow.

    Many, many congratulations on todays result.


  96. Ian Partridge says:

    Steve, I have just watched your fantastic run in Glasgow. I am 3 weeks short of my 52nd birthday and weigh 16.5 stone. I am looking to get fitter and lose weight and your story and example is an inspiration to all of us fat over 40s. I would like to get down to about 12 stone and now feel more confident about achieving this after seeing your achievements. Well done mate.

  97. Harry Truman says:

    Hi Steve,

    I am 32 years old. I have been running for 6-7 years and have completed quite a few marathons. Although, most of the marathons have been finished under 4 hours, I feel that I could have done better. If only for the extra weight that I carry. I don’t drink nor do I smoke and I hardly ever eat any junk food or processed food for that matter. My doctors tell me that I have the healthiest diet that one can imagine. I am 6 feet tall and weigh 85 kgs. Too heavy for a marathoner. I have been trying to lose weight and running hasn’t helped. If only I could be less fat, I would run faster and maybe longer too. In my mind, I am a 70kg man but the weight eventually pulls me down. It is very difficult to carry the extra weight while running and it also lessens the joy of running. Is there a way to shed that weight? I always feel that weight loss is the key to PBs in marathons.

  98. Russell Evans says:

    I recall reading about your running recently and just happened to have the BBC programme on where you were interviewed. Aged 50 now I started serious running about 3 years ago and now just can’t get enough. Cannot get enough means I want longer and longer challenges so this year I ran my first ultra of nearly 35 miles. The best thing about the long running is therapy so when possible I get out into the country rather than the road. Just 2 hours running in the woods taking it all in, no music just the smell and sounds of everything around you. You come back tire but clear headed and refreshed.
    Next year I am aiming for 50 miles so to see people like yourself taking on 100km it really inspires me to fulfil that goal.

  99. Simon H says:

    Hi Steve

    Just watched your interview tonight on the Beeb and read through some of your training advice (above). Been a keen runner for many years and reached 40 last year, but have not done anything noteworthy for some time. Feel newly inspired that I can still set new PBs despite age.

    Thanks for the inspiration, and may God bless your future endeavours.

  100. Keiron F says:

    Congratulations on your Commonwealth run Steve. Outstanding achievement. After watching Ironman UK in Bolton recently I have packed in the cigs and drinking and taken up running. Aiming for a respectable 10k but, as a 35 year old and a big lad, I wondered whether it was really doable. Have just watched your interview on BBC though and, like many have already commented on here, it really was inspirational and has given me the belief that it is achievable. Well done again, Keiron.

  101. Nicolas says:

    Hi Steve,

    Read all about you and definitely inspired. I started running in Jan this year and aim to run Brighton Marathon in April next year.

    Any tips on what good base training looks like? There’s so much out there on race programmes but less on off season running. Also there is the tension between putting in weekly mileage (aerobic) and speed work (anaerobic). I think I recently tried to do a little too much of both and overtrained slightly. Any tips on managing the two?

    I average 20 to 25 miles per week and hope to have a good base for Dec when marathon training kicks off.


  102. Hi Steve

    I’m aware you’re probably getting a load of media requests at the moment after your performance at the weekend…I guess I’m adding my name to the list. I work for the Today with Sean O’Rourke programme in RTE Radio in Ireland.

    Congratulations on the run


  103. Stephen Dent says:

    Hello Steve, i watched your interview on the BBC and i would like to say that you are an inspiration and i am sure many people feel the same.
    I lost 31/2 stone in 12 months by changing my diet & running.
    I had only ever been able to run a few yards and then been out of breath for an age! but my teenage Son suggested i run between lamposts on the main road run 1 walk 1 run 1 etc etc and that did the trick it nearly killed me at first but as i lost weight the running started to increase and now i am a regular runner i attend PARKRUN Heaton park and have a 5k PB of 23:45 which still amazes me, i am doing my 1st half marathon in Blackpool next April and will go on from there.
    I would love to do a Triathlon 1 day and a Iron Man another day!!!
    keep on inspiring us Steve.

    All the best.

  104. Peter waters says:

    Hi steve
    Remember the days at twyford way with paul and friends
    You are an inspiration to all
    We’ll done
    Pat and pete waters now in Spain

  105. the5krunner says:

    Awesome Commonwealth Games job. Move to duathlon (like ex-marathoner Stuart Hall) you would be long dist and mid dist world champ within 2 years; maybe even sprint world champ too. I think I had a similar inspiration to you…just not the ability as well. Use it.

  106. George McWhirter says:

    If you go to http://www.mercola.com and other sites they say marathon running is really really bad for your heart. Is your aim to be healthy or simply to win races as surely you are doing yourself a lot of harm?

  107. Fernanda says:

    Steve, I just came across your blog and your story. Im 43 and, although this sound like a broken record, want to join the bunch of people that congratulate you. I will, once again, start running thanks to you and your blog. I love to do it!!

    Greetings and congratulations from Mexico

  108. Chris Wellbelove says:

    Hi Steve,

    I am a literary agent in London and wondered if you fancied a chat about working on a book proposal?

    Congratulations on the Commonwealths!


  109. Tom Marshall says:


    I work on the Hawksbee and Jacobs show at talkSPORT and we’d love to chat to Steve Way on the show today. We’re on-air 1-4pm and Steve’s story is fantastic. If we could speak to Steve for 5 minutes on the today that would be great. I’m the producer of the show and my direct line is 0207 959 7815.



  110. Máx says:

    Hi Steve, only to say you that I´m impressed with your story that offered me fresh air on my life an give me confident lost. Human race can do unimaginable things (the best and the worst of course) and your are on the best part.
    To change anything firstly you have to get a real propose to do it.
    Be luck in future and be happy to help so many people as me.
    Greetings! From Spain.

  111. Toby says:

    Hi Steve I though you run was great the other day but I have a question about your 100k
    Running: What are you thinking about for the majority of the race. Please reply


  112. Oumer says:

    Hi Steve,
    Just read your story at bbc and just wow! You are so inspiring! I am coming from similar background, was 25Kg overweight, chain smoker, and started running around 2004. Did my first marathon in 2006 in Hamburg, finishing in 3:32. I did Hamburg again in 2008, and improved my time to 3:11, then I thought I would easily go sub 3 in the next one, but 6 other marathons later, I still have not accomplished that (actually in only 2 of them I bettered the 3:11, my PB being 3:01, which occurred in 2012). Do you have any tips for me, apart from the usual increase your mileage that I usually get from running forums? I am 39 now, and when I increase my mileage more than 40 a week, I usually get injured, so my max ever milage was around 50.


  113. Sally says:

    Please would you consider running the bournemouth marathon in aid of Parkinson’s?

  114. Dear Steve,
    My name is Georgios Arapoglou and I am a journalist of the Greek streetpaper “Shedia” -equivalent to the Big Issue and a member of the INSP.
    At first we want to congratulate you for your achievement and to wish you to continue with the same passion and energy!
    Your story is really interesting to our readers not only as an example of nothing is impossible, but also that no matter how hard is something, you have always to try. Apart from that, on the 9th of November we have the annual Classical Marathon of Athens -we are going to run also – and it would be a nice opportunity to have an interview with you for our next issue.
    We know that you have been tired of answering to messages from journalists wanting an interview but you have to admit that your story can be a superb example for many people.
    We would like to have an interview with you for our next issue. If you can make an exception on your decision not to have other interviews -taking also under consideration the philosophy and the content of a streetpaper – we would be very pleased.
    You can find my email contact on this message. We hope to having any news from you. Until then, we wish you to be healthy and strong and always such dynamic!
    Thank you in advance,
    Georgios Arapoglou
    Greek Streetpaper “Shedia”

  115. Phil Vincent says:

    Hi Steve
    If you and Sarah fancy coming round to meet Austin tomorrow, all the boys go to bed at 7 so it would be great to see you before then. Robert and Karen are going to be round too. Off to Brownsea Island on a boat trip now!
    All the best
    Phil & Rachel

  116. David Blackwell says:

    Hi Steve,
    Firstly, congratulations for the Commonwealth’s – very impressive!
    I wondered if you were available to give a short talk to my work colleagues as we run a healthy workplace programme here. Your story is inspirational and I think a lot of my colleagues would be able to relate to you as what you have done is incredible but you seem very down to earth.
    We’re flexible on dates but it would ideally be mid-Sept. We’re only an hour from Bournemouth so if you’re interested please email me. We’re not expecting a freebie!
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Steve says:

      Sorry David but I’ve just had too many requests for “talks” at the moment that I’m having to politely decline :-(

  117. Lyndon Bruce says:

    Hi Steve,

    I’m a producer from BBC Science – We’re making a documentary about Calories and how elite athletes such as yourself prepare for Championship events. I was wondering if i could speak to you about this? It would be great to get you on board for a days filming. I can be reached on the email attached to this comment. Thanks for your time and congratulations on your sucess! Lyndon

  118. Deri Thomas says:

    Hi Steve,
    Being a long time listener of Marathon Talk, I couldn’t really miss your amazing performances over the last couple of years :-), congratulations.
    I’m originally from Weymouth, but have ended up living in Stockholm (the lure of the swedish women…..), and I’m now working for a company who do everything to do with running, training with companies, personal training, organising races etc.
    Anyway, I saw that you were running the Ultravasan shortly, and I was just wondering if you have everything sorted logistically for the race? I guess you probably do, but if you were in need of any support team along the route, although I won’t be able to be there that weekend, I could probably ask around to find help for you. Just so that you avoid the pickled gherkins after 85km 😉
    All the best for the race / lycka till!
    Cheers, Deri

    • Steve says:

      Thanks for the offer Deri but I think we are all sorted. My wife Sarah is crewing for me and the race organisers are putting on a bus service to keep the elite crew ahead of the race…… So as long as I’m near the front I will be fine!

  119. Doug says:

    Hi Steve

    I am sure you hear it all the time from many people but your story has been inspirational to me and has played a major part in helping me turn my life around. Fourteen months ago at 48 years old I was a 22.5 stone coach potato, crap diet and no exercise. One ‘turn’ later (possibly a heart attack on a boat 20 miles out in the channel whilst fishing) and having been told your story by a friend I decided to get fit and get my life back again. Now down to 14 stone having managed to loose 8.5 stone, I thought i’d have a crack at triathlons as this is something i’ve always wanted to do (doing my first in a few weeks) and started running about 8 weeks ago. I’ve managed to get down to 27 mins for 5 k and have got up to running about 9/10 k without stopping, however in a moment of madness last week I entered the Bournemouth half marathon in October (Peer pressure and I like a challenge!) – any last minute advice would be greatly appreciated !
    Cheers Doug

    • Road Runner says:

      Well done Doug.

      Like many I have come back from the brink and given up the fags and lost a load of weight. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would become a runner. I also read the RW article which really inspired me to see what I could become. 4 years on, and things have gone pretty well. Running has become less of a hobby and more a way of life.

      Good luck with the Bournemouth half. I guess all your training is done now. So just sit back and enjoy the ride. Hydrate well and make sure you eat enough carbs. Stick to your pacing plan and you’ll do great!

  120. Rohit says:

    Hi Steve,
    I am just about running 5K in 30 minutes now and I am thirty nine now. I started running some 4 months ago and I plan to run marathon in 2016. I weigh 84 kilos on my 169 inch height at the start four months back but now I weigh 70 Kilo. I started running so as to loose weight as I am hypertensive and also because of fatty liver. Thanks to 4 months of running I have stopped taking medication for hypertension and fatty liver is much better. And I run 3 times a week with 2 days of cycling to take care of my knees which is not all that strong.
    Will it be possible for me to run marathon in 2016? What should be my ideal weight ? Should I continue to run 5 K for some more time or prepare for 10K now ?


    • Steve says:

      Hi Rohit,
      Of course its possible for you to run a marathon in 2016! Everyones ideal weight is different based on body shape and mass so I wouldn’t want to suggest what weight you should be just based on your height measurements…. we are all an experiment of 1and the best per on to work out your ideal weight is you, just be honest with yourself and stay healthy.
      Don’t limit yourself to any distance race,just build your mileage sensibly and mix it up a bit!

  121. Sean says:

    Hi Steve

    I wonder if you can help me.

    I regularly take part in my local parkrun, which is a free weekly 5k timed run. The particular run I am involved with, Great Lines, is coming up for its first year anniversary on 27 September. Throughout this first year there has been one constant, Tony Giles, the Event Director. Tony started off taking part and volunteering at the various other parkruns across Kent, but then decided that he’d like to bring parkrun to Medway. So that’s what he did, and with a little help from some others he’s been there week in week out making sure everything runs smoothly and ensuring all that attend have an enjoyable experience. His work doesn’t begin and end on a Saturday morning either. Throughout the week Tony’s role includes updating the website and various social media, checking and reorganising equipment, filling the volunteer roster for the following week and many more tasks required to keep the whole operation going.

    Tony is also a keen runner himself, which makes it even more admirable that he gives up his time to see other people getting the chance to run. And not just a few people, the Great Lines parkrun regularly gets around 200 people completing the course each week. 200 people of all different shapes, size and abilities all meeting to run and hopefully enjoy their experience. In its first year the event has seen people completely new to running become hardened runners, entering races and taking on marathons. Friendships have been forged, new running groups emerged and in general a fun time had by all. All because of Tony, the man who decided to bring parkrun to Great Lines.

    Whilst athletes like yourself inspire us casual runners to push for that PB and try that bit harder, if it wasn’t for people like Tony there simply wouldn’t be the opportunity for many people.

    As a collective group we would like to say a big thank you to Tony for his continued efforts. We have put a collection together for a gift and will get the customary card, but such gestures don’t seem enough. Therefore I wondered if you would have the time to send a message or something similar to help us to say thank you.

    I look forward to hearing from you, and who knows, maybe one day you could visit Great Lines parkrun to take on the course that Tony created.

    Kind regards

    Sean Rodwell

    • Steve says:

      Sorry Sean,missed this message. Please send on my congratulations and best wishes to Tony, sounds like an awesome chap and a real ambassador for parkrun!!

  122. Luke D says:

    Hi Steve,
    I ran 2.35 at VLM last year 2013 and would like to give it another go, this time with the aim to go sub 2.30. I have seen from all the inspirational posts and info I have read about you that you managed to from 2.35 to sub 2.20 in what seems like a fairly short amount of time. I know this is a pretty broad question, but is there a standout session or change in your training which helped you go under that 2.35 pace and beyond? I currently train once daily doing the ‘normal’ weekend long run, a weekly 5m TT, A speed session then fill the gaps with steady hilly off road runs. I am 34yrs old and feel like I can run sub 2.30 with a little help.
    Thanks Steve, Best of luck with the 100K

    • Steve says:

      No one magic session Luke, the difference between my 2:35 and 2:20 was 90% down to another 2 years of consistent training and around 8000 more miles on the clock :-) good look with the sub 2:30!

  123. Leica says:

    Hi Steve,

    I’ve only just read about you on deadspin.com this afternoon. Quite the inspiration! I have a half marathon to run on Nov. 8th and, I’m afraid, I was a bit too ambitious about signing up for a race 8 months after delivering a 9.5 lb baby. I’m having a rather difficult time training. But seeing the article about you has inspired me. Thanks!

  124. Hi Steve,

    Hope you’re well.

    I am Vice President of the BBC running club and a lot of my runners are inspired by your story of running and your continued commitment towards the sport.

    We, from the BBC Running Club would be honoured if you would join us for a marathon/training chat with the BBC runners in London. We’ll have wine, beer and pasta!

    If you would be interested, my contact details are below:


    I look forward to your reply


  125. Ed Hyland says:

    Hi Steve, congrats on what has been a very succesful year for you. Your story is inspiring! I could do with some advice if you’re able to help? I’ve been accepted for good for age at VLM and i’ve signed up to my first ultra (Calderdale Way Ultra 51.5 miles) 6 weeks later on 6th June. How do you go about training for both events at the same time? I know you did VLM earlier this year as a ‘training’ run but I want to ensure i’m ready for both events. Targeting 2.50 at VLM but need to make sure I also have the stamina for ultra in June. Any tips?? Regards, Ed Hyland

    • Steve says:

      Hi Ed,
      From my experience you can run a good marathon on the way to an Ultra if you are training for the Ultra (longer long runs and backtobacks) but it’s difficult to train specifically for a marathon and then try and add on an ultra afterwards.
      Do the first option :-)

  126. James Taylor says:

    Hi Steve,

    I find your story truly inspirational and really enjoy the way your training and opinions are so easily accessable to mere mortals like me.

    My running buddy and myself are coming to the end of our 4 x half marathon challenge in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust (weblink above) and wanted to ask if you could offer a few words of encouragement and inspiration to the lad, Jaye Camacho, who we are ultimatley running for. Before being diagnosed with leukaemia earlier this year, he was a keen runner and managed to run at county level. It’s going to be a long journey back for him, but at aged 13 we all feel he can do it. Any advise or encouragement will be greatly received. Many thanks, James

  127. Lisa Jay says:

    Your story is amazing, inspired me to get out there at 38 years old and no running experience. Have shed 3 stone, can run 10km in 52mins and have signed up for a half marathon in March…. Just need to become an ex-smoker now!
    Thank you for being an inspiration

  128. Simon Davey says:

    Hello Steve,

    When I weighed myself about 2 months ago, I weighed in at 19stone 7. I was devastated. Me and my wife moved from Essex to Bournemouth recently and so as I watched the Commonwealth marathon I took a little interest. I noticed a lad from Bournemouth on there. Then you appeared in a magazine I was reading so I looked you up and here I am. I entered the Bournemouth 10k a while a back and completed it in 1hr 22mins. I see this time as a starting point. I hate running, I have to admit. It takes a lot to get up after working 8.30am – 6pm but I do love my job so can’t leave that! Any advice you can give to me would be great. I know its stupid but when I jog, if I walk I see it as a negative. In my head I should be running from start to finish. Also when you work during the day, how do you find time to run? The streets around Alum Chine are so dimly lit I decided to join a gym to carry on inside.

    Thanks and keep up the good work.


    • Steve says:

      Well done on the 10k simon….good work :-) I promise that if you stick at it you won’t hate it forever! You will get the bug and then will hate it if you can’t run for whatever reason. Keep going and for every consistent week of running you get under your belt you will be that much closer to your potential…. The motivation when you start getting faster will be strong!

  129. Hi Steve
    Great performance in Ultravasan. I read your race report and it´s stunning, What capacity you have in your body. And what a journey you have made!!

    I´ve started a website one week ago in Sweden where I collect and publish race reports from events made by swede´s. But I would really like to publish yours from Ultravasan! The concept is that I will copy your story and photos and then I will link to your website under it.

    I don´t know if you understand swedish but you can look on the page (www.racereport.se) and maybe you will understand what it´s all about.

    Hope I´ll hear from you

    //Jonas Boström
    Sundsvall, Sweden

  130. Alex Benson says:

    Hi Steve,

    I was very impressed when I heard your story this year before the Commonwealth games. I started running in March this year after being persuaded by a friend to do a local parkrun in Chelmsford. My first was run at 25:34 and I really enjoyed it so each week I have been doing the same and been getting many PBs, 7 months later I am now down to 19:16 – doing about 20miles per week training. Do you have any tips, starting to feel I have some potential?

  131. david jackson says:

    hi steve, love the website, first heard about you at the commonwealths and for a 35 year old runner(me) its about as inspirational as it gets.
    i’m currently a sub 37 10k guy have been running 2 years regularly,. i improved my 10k 5 mins in last 12 months and i currently am at max mileage of 52 miles per week, planning on getting up to 80-100 miles per week in 2015 do u think that would be enough to knock another 4 or 5 mins off my 10k?
    p.s. when people say i’m getting to old to start up running, i ask them if they’ve heard of steve way.

    • Steve says:

      Why are you limiting yourself to another 4-5min improvement, just keep working hard and see how far you can get, you may be a sub30 10km runner!

  132. James Murphy says:

    Hi Steve

    just looking for some advice. I have gotten my PB in the Marathon down to 2.44 May 2013, 2:42 April 2014 and now 2:40 Oct 2014.
    I have one issue that has come up in all 3 marathons but its slowly getting less and less of a problem. I can fly to 20-22 miles but then I loose all strength and knee lift. I only run up to 20miles in my long runs………should I start including a few 22/23 mile runs in my long runs to help me get over last 10km and also should long runs be ran at race pace or slightly below every 4 or 5 weeks in the last 3 to 5 miles of a long run?

    I think im in 2.37 shape but legs aren’t allowing it :-) I get to 30k in 1:51 and 20miles around 1:59:30


    • Steve says:

      Simple answer is yes, I’d do at least one run of 23-24 but you need to experiment as everyone is different. Personally I would never now race a marathon without having done at least one full/over distance run in training….. But that is what works for me.

  133. mark cameron says:

    Hi Steve, any chance you can change the order of these comments so the newest appear first, scrolling down so far takes forever.

    Love following your story, checking out your runs on strava, look forward to hearing about the ultra


  134. James Mountford says:

    Sorry to hear of your unscheduled portaloo visits.Been there!

    You must have tonnes of dietary advice at your disposal, but I find white-bread and honey sandwiches for lunch and dinner the day before a race and also for breakfast on race-day have sorted out my dodgy gut.

    Glad to hear your doing London.need someone to cheer now that mo’s experiment is over.im hoping to run 2:32.

    James Mountford

  135. Matt Persell says:

    Hi Steve,

    I work for Spartan race HQ in Boston, MA. We are having a cruise to the Bahamas from March 6th-March 9th, 2015 and would like for you to join us. On this cruise we are gathering the worlds best athletes and having them compete in a Sprint level course on a private island. Congrats on an amazing transformation and best of luck to you in 2015.

    I look forward to hearing from you!


    Matt P.
    Field Sales Coordinator

  136. Surferwoman says:

    He does not look fat on the first picture to me. Just normal.

  137. Stan says:

    Hi Steve,

    I was wondering if you could lend me some advice from your experience with smoking and its damages. I have been running from an early age on the track and x-country, around county level. Unfortunately I slipped into smoking around 6 months ago during a long period of injury. At max I smoked maybe 6/7 times a day, sometimes more often less. I have stopped now as a New Years resolution and thankfully haven’t found it too hard to do so. I was wondering if you have any idea how much damage I’ve done, and how long it’s going to take me to get over said damage with regular middle distance training.

    You are an inspiration and a great athlete.

    Good luck in future and cheers

  138. Marco says:


    I am an Italian runner, I am 23 years old and I have run since 2013. I currently have a 1:20 PB on the half marathon and I usually run 50-60 mpw over 5 days/week. I am not interested at all in marathon, I would like to run only 10ks and HMs. Someone told me to run 6 or even 7 days but I think that, as a non-pro runner as I am, staying injury-free and avoid problems is the best thing to achieve. My dream is to be able, one day, to run SUB-1H10′ on the half marathon. What do you think about it? Is it possible with this weekly schedule and mileage?

    What I usually do is: 1 speed training (intervals varying from 400m to 3000m with a fast volume ranging anywhere from 6 to 10 kms (such as 4×2000, 8×1000, 3×3000…)), 1 steady/tempo (from 6 km to 15 km), 2 easy runs and 1 long run (with very hard progression).

    What do you think?

    Thanks! I hope to receive your answer asap!


  139. “Having a passion for anything makes life worthwhile”. I never tire of watching you on this video, Steve http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/get-inspired/26777663. A true inspiration to many!

    If you ever fancy getting the #ealingfeeling and running our Ealing Half Marathon in West London (fully road closed) just let me know :) We’ve won the odd award or two 😉 Which isn’t bad for just a couple of people organising it and a lot of friends volunteering. http://www.ealinghalfmarathon.com. @ealinghalf

  140. Rachel says:


    I work for the Running Awards, and was wondering if you could give me your contact email address so I can send you some info? We’d love it if you came along on the night, please feel free to have a look at the website:


    My email address is rachel@therunningawards.com

    Thanks, Rachel

  141. Mark says:

    Hi Steve, congrats on the continued success. I had a quick question of how you managed to finally quit smoking? I work with a quit smoking brand and would love to know.


    • Steve says:

      Running basically! The reason why I don’t smoke is because it would make me slower, strange that I get motivation from this rather than the health benefits but the extra motivation from my running performance is what keeps me from not smoking….. Apart from the odd celebratory cigar 😉

      • Mark says:

        A cracking motivation, and one that will surely keep you on track (excuse the pun). Did you quit ‘cold turkey’ when you started to get fit and into running, or with the help of any products?…

  142. David Lee says:

    Hi Steve
    Wondered if you could drop me an email about a piece Breakfast TV are looking into on people finding sport later in life. We would love your participation.

    I’m on david.lee@bbc.co.uk

  143. David says:

    Hi Steve,
    Can you drop me an email on david.lee@bbc.co.uk please so I can ask you about a piece BBC Breakfast are running.


  144. Jon-Michael Lindsey says:

    Hi Steve, first of all, Stewart Plumridge pointed me in your direction & I’m amazed at your achievements! I’ve only been running a year or so, with my biggest distance (to date) is the Great Midlands Fun Run (14K), but I’m going for the Bournemouth Half Marathon this October. Do you run any training sessions at all, or can you recommend a club in the area to help me improve? I wish you all the best with your ongoing projects!

    Many Thanks,


    • Steve says:

      Hi Jon-Michael,
      I don’t run any sessions myself at the moment but may be able to suggest a club but you don’t actually mention where you live!

      • Jon-Michael Lindsey says:

        Hi Steve,

        That would be great! I’m based in Branksome, so any group around my area would be excellent, thanks!

  145. Hi Steve,
    I’m wondering if you might be able to drop me a quick email to sarah@flyingrunner.co.uk please, as I’d like to ask you a question relating to current marathon pacing research we’re working on with the sports science department and Dr Dan Gordon at Anglia Ruskin University. It would be easiest to explain by email if possible. Be great to hear from you.
    Thank you very much,

  146. David Taylor says:

    Hi Steve, since seeing you run at the commonwealth games – I thought I could do that!
    You have given me great motivation thank you.

    So started to build up my runs slowly over a year etc etc…(stopped smoking and dropped from 11st 10 to 10st 3 currently)
    Anyway last week broke the 3 hour mark for the marathon (first i have completed) on a hilly north derbyshire course (Chesterfield) 2h 55mins
    From Oct I will be following a program by mike gratton.
    Cant wait to hit Manchester in April and find out how quick i can go on a flat course (maybe your 2h15 will be in sight when i`m 40 in 4 years haha)

    Anyway thanks again for getting me started and goodluck for the future

  147. Tomas Mrva says:

    Hi Steve, will you try to qualify for Rio Olympics or is your focus now primarily on ultrarunning?


  148. Steve Carr says:

    This is a great storey and very inspiring . I have started with a running club this year to improve my running. Can you give me any tips on improving my running. I currently do 5k in 27 mins and 10k in 58 mins. My friend said I should work on improving my strength and cadence. Any help would be great. Cheers Steve

  149. Martin Cartwright says:

    Hi Steve

    I messaged you a while back when I was just getting back into running after a decade out of the sport, back then you really inspired me and and took hold of my aims and made them come true! a year ago I joined a club where my coach Gary House (a fantastic ultra runner, he recently won a 24hr race) changed my running technique and now Ive PB’d my 10k (47:42) my half 1:49:50 and completed my first ultra 69 miles 16:07:42.

    But if it wasn’t for your exploits I really don’t think I would of gone back to this great sport so thanks mate :) . We did actually race together at the Birmingham half in 2014 but you were way ahead of me! lol

  150. Martin Cartwright says:

    and I took hold of my aims i mean lol!

  151. Poyraz says:

    Hi Steve,

    I saw one of your interviews a couple of months ago where you were explaining how you started running. Such an inspirational story! I myself was one of the many people who always wants to start running but never finds the courage (or will) to do so. After seeing your story, I started running as an amateur and I loved it. Thank you so much for giving me the courage and inspiration.

    Among all athletes and sportspeople in the world, you are my true hero!

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